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Great Books Discussion Group

  The Great Books Discussion Group meets at the Keene Public Library September through June.

      Welcome to the 33rd  year of our local Great Books discussion group!

The group meets at the Keene Public Library (60 Winter St) in the Eppes Room on the first floor of the library, accessible through the Atrium. Meetings are on alternating Thursdays, starting at 6:30 p.m. and ending about 8:00 p.m. (no later than 8:30).   

A "GREAT BOOKS" DISCUSSION:

Is NOT:     ... teaching    
                ... lecturing          
                ... imparting facts         
                ... forcing consensus        
                ... accepting authority      
But IS:     ... exploring
               ... questioning
               ... examing ideas
               ... inviting participation
               ... honoring diverse opinion

 A schedule of meeting dates and readings is below.  We take turns acting as the discussion facilitator. Copies of the reading schedule are available at the library's circulation desk in the Great Books folder.

Readings this year will be from two anthologies:

     1) Counterparts published by The Great Books Foundation, Code no. ADU-COU, cost $24.95 plus $4.50 shipping; or as an eBook, Code no. ADU-COU-DE, cost $9.95).  You can order by phone 1-800-222-5870, ext. 3, weekdays 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. CST, and charge to your credit card.  Or you can order online at greatbooks.org.  If you wish to order by mail, order forms are available at the library's main desk (ask for the Great Books folder).

     2) The Best American Essays of the Century, edited by Joyce Carol Oates and Robert Atwan (Houghton Mifflin Co., c.2000)  Order from your usual bookseller; cost is $19.95 in paperback.  The library has a copy of this book, and many of the selections from both anthologies can be found in books available at the library and/or online.

You can order by phone: 1-800-222-5870, ext. 3, weekdays 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. CST, and charge to your credit card.  Or you can order online at greatbooks.org.  If you wish to order by mail, order forms are available at the library's main desk (ask for Great Books folder).

Note:  The Great Books office advises that it may take 3-4 weeks for an order to arrive.  Many of the selections, but not all, can readily be found in books at the library. Links to both are provided in our online calendar for each event.

If you would like to know more about the Great Books Reading and Discussion Programs in general, please visit their website at www.greatbooks.org. To find out more about our local discussion group, please call Ardis Osborn at 352-2198. Copies of the reading schedule listed below are available at the library's circulation desk in the Great Books folder.

The group heartily welcomes new people to the discussion group and will be glad to answer any questions you have about it.

GREAT BOOKS MEETING SCHEDULE 2019-2020
Readings marked with an asterisk can be found in The Best American Essays of the Century.  All other readings will be found in Counterparts.

DATE READING
Sept. 5, 2019 Hans Christian Andersen, "The Little Mermaid"
Jane Gardam, "The Pangs of Love"
Sept. 19, 2019 *Zora Neale Hurston, "How It Feels to Be Colored Me"
*Richard Wright, "The Ethics of Living Jim Crow"
*Langston Hughes, "Bop"
Oct. 3, 2019 Walt Whitman, "Facing West from California"
Daniel Fuchs, "The Golden West"
Oct. 17, 2019 George Eliot, "In Which the Author Pauses a Little" (chapter from Adam Bede)
Oscar Wilde, "The Decay of Lying"
Oct. 24, 2019 *F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack-Up"
*James Thurber, "Sex Ex Machina"
Nov. 7, 2019 John Ruskin, "Lilies" (excerpt)
Betty Friedan, "The Feminine Mystique" (excerpt)
*Adrienne Rich, "Women and Honor: Some Notes on Lying"
Nov. 21, 2019 Friedrich Hayek, "Equality, Value, and Merit"
Ronald Dworkin, "Liberalism"
Mar. 19, 2020 Wilfred Owen, "Dulce et Decorum Est"
Horace, "Ode 3.2"
*William Manchester, "Okinawa: The Bloodiest Battle of All"
*William James, "The Moral Equivalent of War"

April 2,2020

*Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
*Elizabeth Hardwick, "The Apotheosis of Martin Luther King"
Apr. 16 2020 Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Rappaccini's Daughter"
Claude Bernard, "Vivisection"
Apr. 30, 2020 *Rachel Carson, "The Marginal World"
*James Agee, "Knoxville: Summer of 1915"
*Loren Eisely, "The Brown Wasps"
*E.B. White, "Once More to the Lake"
May 14, 2020 Sarah Suleri, "The Immoderation of Ifat"
David Sedaris, "Now We Are Five"
May 28, 2020 Philip Larkin, "An Arundel Tomb"
Amy Bloom, "Love is Not a Pie"
June 11, 2020 Bring in a poem or prose selection (less than a page) that you find meaningful.  We'll each read our selection aloud and say something briefly about why it was chosen.  The group can discuss questions the selection may pose or comment on its ideas, imagery, language, etc. It's helpful if you can make copies of your reading to pass around.
  POTLUCK SUPPER: We'll vote on a date.  Maybe June 18 or 25??

 

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